Last week Strauss et al. published the “Circum-Arctic Map of the Yedoma Permafrost Domain” in Frontiers in Earth Science. The paper is a major product of the IPA’s “The Yedoma Region” action group which was funded from 2015-2016.
Yedoma deposits are fine-grained, ice- and organic-rich materials that formed during the late Pleistocene. They are particularly prone to degradation caused by climate change and human activity, with significant implications for sequestered carbon and infrastructure when thawed.
This detailed assessment of the current pan-Arctic Yedoma coverage will help:
- Estimate its potential contribution to permafrost-climate feedbacks;
- Assess infrastructure vulnerabilities;
- Understand past environmental and permafrost dynamics.
The study estimates the Northern Hemisphere Yedoma domain to cover approximately 2,587,000 km2, located between the Yamal Peninsula in Russia to the Yukon, Canada. Of which, Yedoma deposits underlie 480,000 km2 (roughly the size of Spain!).
This first complete, digital circum-Arctic Yedoma map is an important step forward to understand the past and present spatial heterogeneity of Yedoma deposits, which is of utmost importance for assessing vulnerabilities and risks in a rapidly warming Arctic.
For more information contact Jens Strauss (Jens.Strauss@awi.de).